Speaker: Sophie Heywood
“Why am I talking to you about May ’68?”, asked the children’s publisher Arthur Hubschmid, “well, it changed things for us radically, that’s why”. The years around May ’68 are widely understood to have marked an important moment for children’s literature, particularly picturebooks, in France. This paper argues that the visual transformation, and change in status of picturebooks, were also the product of a wider, political debate around children’s books, and that we should take seriously the role of ’68 in this narrative. This period can also tell us a lot more about the history of the child in the cultural rebellions of the sixties, and how children and their culture became caught up in postwar social and cultural ideals and their counter cultural response.
Sophie Heywood is Associate Professor in French at the University of Reading (UK). She is a specialist in the history of children’s literature, publishing and archives policy in modern France. She has published widely on these topics in French and English. She was a STUDIUM / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow 2016-17, based at the University of Tours, Laboratoire InTRu, where she led the research project “The Children’s ‘68”: children68.hypotheses.org
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